Asha Bromfield's YA novel Hurricane Summer is a coming-of-age story that embraces womanhood and sexuality
Asha Bromfield is a Canadian actress, singer and author best known for her role as Melody Jones, drummer of Josie and the Pussycats in the television show Riverdale. Bromfield is also an author. Her debut YA novel, Hurricane Summer, is a love letter to Jamaica, where her parents are from.
Bromfield grew up in Toronto but spent many summers in Jamaica. Hurricane Summer is both an action-packed and thoughtful coming-of-age story about Tilla, a teenager sent to spend the summer with her father in Jamaica. During her tumultuous visit, she discovers both weakness and strength in herself and in her father.
Bromfield spoke with Shelagh Rogers about writing Hurricane Summer.
Summers in Jamaica
"I grew up in Jamaica, almost, because I used to go there every summer. It was almost routine for me and my family. We would go there every summer for two months. I remember being younger and not loving it, because as a kid, you want to spend summers with your friends. You don't want to go to the countryside of somewhere else.
I grew up in Jamaica, almost, because I used to go there every summer. It was almost routine for me and my family.
"But looking back, I'm grateful my formative years were shaped on that island. How much of who I am is connected to the time that I spent there."
A story of young womanhood
"Tilla has grown up with a longing for her father. You always hear about girls having, quote-unquote, 'daddy issues' — but I wanted to show the longing that's created when you have the imprint of a really great father.
"As you move into your teens, that's taken away from you. It speaks deeply to this journey, when you're no longer loved and revered by your father because you're not this cute little girl anymore. It speaks to society and the way that we view young women, the way that we view sexual young women, how we value women and their virginity and how we shame girls when we feel they're, quote-unquote, 'promiscuous.'
You always hear about girls having, quote-unquote, 'daddy issues' — but I wanted to show the longing that's created when you do have the imprint of a really great father.
"It creates a deep wound. That was something I had felt firsthand growing up, when you become a pre-teen or early teenager, and you realize that the world looks at you a bit differently and you're no longer the cute little girl that you were before."
Asha Bromfield's comments have been edited for length and clarity.